In Loving Memory of
On August 11th, 2013, the Village of Winnetka, the Winnetka Community House and The Children's Theatre of Winnetka lost one of their truest and greatest friends. For over forty years, Gail Johannson devoted her time and exceptional talent to the arts here, performing, directing, editing and nurturing the spirit of performing arts in children. For over 25 years, Gail wrote and directed the Main Show of the Winnetka Children's Fair, casting multiple performances in order to showcase as many children as possible and to imbue the Children's Fair with the arts. For Gail, giving a child his or her first taste of theatre, whether as performer or audience member, was her supreme joy. That is why she filled the performances with first through eighth graders, offering all who auditioned a part in her marvelous shows.
Her involvement with the Children's Theatre also spanned a quarter century, with so many wonderful fall productions to her name and so many children touched by her devotion and energy.
From her early years acting and dancing in the Winnetka Woman's Club Jr. Auxiliary Talent Show (what would become the Village Follies), to her years as their director, the Village of Winnetka was touched by Gail's extraordinary talent and flair for fun.
An advocate for children, the arts and the profound impact that theater can have on the life of the individual and the richness of a community, Gail Johannson was a pillar of the arts community here. Gail's passion, laughter, sense of humor and faith in a child's ability to create will long be remembered and will forever leave Winnetka a finer place. She will be missed indeed.
"Gail was a second mother to all of the kids she came in contact with. From 1st through 8th grade (Children's Fair through CTW), every year, you knew you'd see her and have the best two months of the year. She was a fairy godmother, and her love, kindness, and good spirit shone through accordingly. She will be missed." CTW Alum
No matter what the kids did, whether it be at The Children's Fair or Children's Theatre of Winnetka.....they always made her laugh. They could do no wrong! She loved them." CTW Parent
"Gail's commitment to the Children's Theater program shaped the course of my life in ways I couldn't foresee when we were all giggling backstage during shows. Under her direction, we had a totally safe and totally fun outlet for creative exploration at a critical period in our development, and to this day I trace many of my choices and successes to those experiences and the confidence I gained from that time." CTW Alum